Basics of effective Meta Description tags for your website
The description <meta> tag is an effective way of providing a concise and clear summary of content of each of your website page, especially the key ones like product portfolio. Most top search engines make use of the Meta Description of a webpage in their relevant results.
Meta Descriptions are HTML attributes, which offer concise explanations of your webpage contents. They are most commonly used by engines on search result pages for displaying preview snippets for any given page.
Obviously, if such description is missing or is not up to the mark, the search engine will not be able to figure out its content. They might then substitute in what they consider is an appropriate description from the on-page content of your site. In this post, we shall consider useful tips to create high quality Meta Descriptions.
Character Limits for Title and Meta Description tags
Make sure that both Title as well as Meta Description tag are comprised of well-researched keywords and domain specific phrases. Importantly, they should be limited to the prescribed number of characters. The character limit is broadly speaking, as follows:
Google: 69 characters for Title; 155 Characters for Meta Description (this includes spaces)
Yahoo: 72 characters for a Title; 161 characters for Meta Description (this includes spaces)
Bing: 69 characters for a Title Tag; 185 characters for Meta Description (this includes spaces)
The optimal length for Meta Descriptions will slightly vary from one search engines, so keep that aspect into mind, while writing Meta Descriptions.
Pay attention to quality of tag description
It is important to stay within the character limit. Of course, along with taking care of the character limits, you should pay equal attention to writing user-friendly and catchy Meta Descriptions. Just as with a title tag, your description tag plays a vital role in helping an online searcher to determine whether or not your website is among the most relevant ones to his or her requirements, persuading them to click-through or simply skip it.
Your site should have individual and distinct Meta Description tags for all your key pages. The descriptions should be written such that they reflect what each webpage is about. Make optimum use of keywords without undue stuffing. Make use of the Meta Description tag for including structured data about that page. For instance, news or blog posts can list the author, publication date, or byline information.
Some additional information (Rich Snippets) can also be added to your website coding to be shown up in the search engine results. This particular additional markup is designed for websites with business listings or review sites.
schema.org will allow you to mark up quite a wide range of item types on pages by employing a vocabulary Google, Yahoo!, Bing etc can all understand. Google on its part supports the specific information types, such as reviews, products, business listings, people profiles, recipes, and events.
We shall outline more key aspects of powerful Meta Description tags in the next post of this series so as to make your website more search engine friendly..